“The employees radiate a positive feeling, and customers feel this.”Henk Bijlsma I Previous owner BP Zwart, Amsterdam
The BP Zwart petrol station in the Osdorp district of Amsterdam is a true family business with the corresponding atmosphere. Previous owner Henk Bijlsma took over the station from his father-in-law 25 years ago. After moving to the present location, he decided to sell brand-name gas in order to make the best use of the new site on a through road. Last year he handed over the reins to his son. Bijlsma was designated ‘lifetime advisor’ and is still present in the business every day.
We have been a BigBrother customer since 2000. Our initial aim was to improve the sense of safety of our employees and our customers by installing a camera system. With an area of over 6000 m², we have a rather large station where it's easy to loose sight of things. Thanks to the CCTV system, our employees radiate a feeling of pleasure in their jobs. Our customers also notice this. That has a positive effect on the loyalty of our employees, and on our turnover.
Now we have much more than just CCTV. We use PumpWatch, linked to our cash register system. We have also installed the number plate recognition and AutoAlert modules. This helps us reduce the number of drive-offs.
All of these systems give us a lot more insight and oversight. That has enabled us to grow and expand. In recent years we have installed more car wash bays and added a bakery to our shop. With good results – we sell about 300 sandwiches every day, including orders from the neighbourhood.
PumpWatch gives us more grip and supervision over the entire business. We have fewer mix-ups at the cash register, and an extra set of eyes to watch the rear of the premises next to the car wash. Now we can resolve small disputes with customers quickly and fairly by looking up camera pictures for transactions. We have also created a blacklist of drive-off vehicles by using number plate recognition, and we can recognise false plates thanks to AutoAlert. As a result, the number of drive-offs has dropped sharply.
We are moving more and more away from the principle of security and toward the principle of insight and impact. For example, with regard to vandalism. Camera imagery gives us insight into what actually happened. Although we can't do anything about the specific incident, we can implement practical measures to prevent it from happening again.
We have a higher risk of robbery because we are on a through road close to the motorway. You can reach the A9 very quickly, but thanks to our high level of security we haven't had any such incidents at this site so far.
In the past we had a lot of trouble with drive-offs. There were eight to ten attempts a week. Thanks to better cameras, number plate recognition and AutoAlert, the number has dropped dramatically by 60 to 70 %. Now we can easily recognise and pursue these offenders.
Still, the biggest impact is that people feel safe on our site. This allows us to focus on the further development of our station.